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Old 02-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
No, many other groups don't have a "hell." I believe Islam does. I'm pretty sure Hinduism doesn't. Judaism doesn't have it. Hell came along with Jesus.
Hell didn't really exist until the New Testament and the invention of resurrection. But many other religions have a place like Hell...

Quote:
Did the Bible "originally state" that there is a place like Hell? Depends on what you mean by "originally." In the Old Testament, there was no "place of eternal damnation." There was Sheol, where everybody--good or bad--went after they died. It was, according to the U.S. News article, "a gloomy underworld realm , a morally neutral place akin to the Hades of ancient Greek mythology."

Things got messier from there. When the Hebrew text was translated into Greek, "Sheol" was replaced by "Hades." Then, when evolving Jewish and Christian beliefs began to emphasize resurrection, Hades became a place where only the nasty folks went.

OK, so there were two different names for this place. Now let's introduce a third, Gehenna, which early Christian teaching said was a fiery hell to which the wicked would be sent after judgment. The root of the word refers to the Valley of Hinnom, a location "south of Jerusalem, where trash fires burned incessantly and where ancient human sacrifices had been offered to Canaanite gods." (U.S. News) The Book of Revelation took this a step further by saying those evil folks would be "thrown into a lake of fire."

So far, no mention of "Hell." That changed when the Bible was translated into English. Many versions render Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna as Hell. The New Testament also refers to "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and a place where the "worm never dies and the fire is never quenched," and things like that.

Many religions besides Christianity have their own versions of Hell. According to a U.S. News sidebar, Islam has a crater of fire, Hinduism has 21 hells to "burn away bad karma," and Buddhism has hells along the road to nirvana. Jainism has 8.4 million hells (damn!), and Taoism has a few too.

Getting back to your question, did the Bible "originally" mention a place of eternal damnation? No, if you mean "originally" as in the Old Testament. Yes, if you mean some versions of the New Testament. And theological interpretation could take it either way.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-invented-hell
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